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Peace - Spirituality and other meanderings

I’m Tired, Boss …

As the weeks go by, and especially this last week, the emotions surrounding the horrific events that have occurred;.what seems like the proliferation of hate and fear mongering; the (not new) growing trend of categorizing ALL of a group by the actions of a few … is becoming emotionally, physically and psychologically draining.   This meme taken from “The Green Mile” says it so succinctly:

greenmile

The question in my mind is …. how do we TURN IT AROUND?  HOW do we move towards not being so damned ugly to each other?

I’m tired, Boss …..  let’s try kindness and compassion, let’s try love.

Namaste – I honor you for all the goodness that you are.

Itty Bitty

Peace - Spirituality and other meanderings

Day 1 – Earth Centered Spirituality

To paraphrase Chapter 1 of Timothy Roderick‘s Wicca – A Year And A Day, long before there was religion, dogmas, regulations, ceremonial figureheads, theme parks and tele-ministries, there was simple NATURE.

We knew the ways of the changing seasons, the cycles of the moon, of healing and childbirth.  The Devine lived among us in the songs of the birds and in our bodies and the animals and plants.  The soft facts of life played out along with the hard facts of life.

In discovering this Wiccan path, we will find ourselves experiencing metaphorical muddy hands and feet; we find green grass, dark, rich earth, stone, or a tree and touch it … FEEL it and draw the weight of our body onto the land.

Connect with that power in the earth and natural things that is greater than us.  As we sit on the earth, imagine our root chakra reaching deep down into the earth, and network of roots that connect us to humans, animals, plants and objects.

red candle

Let the energy of Mother Earth fill you with strength and peace.

Namaste – I wish you all that Mother Earth has to offer us.

Itty Bitty

 

Peace - Spirituality and other meanderings

Living In Three Worlds …

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
~ Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

This quote has been sitting in my draft files for about two months now.  I so love what it says – and today while looking through my drafts it hit me.  At this particular time in my life, with where I am physically, emotionally, intellectually … this quote says it ALL.

I am currently living in THREE worlds – how odd does that sound? But it’s true.

World 1 – Mom

My son and I moved into an apartment in mid-June so that I can help him manage his bi-polar disorder in a quiet and de-stressed environment to the  point he/we can manage his anxiety levels.   He doesn’t do well in solitary situations – goes to very dark, depressed places – or I would not necessarily be with him, but would likely subsidize him living on his own.  At almost 40, he doesn’t want to be living with mom, but acknowledges and accepts graciously that he needs the emotional support.

World 2 – Wife

I spend a night or two at my husband’s (not my son’s father) home each week, and meet him for dinner or after work drinks when my son is working the evening shift.  I love my husband, and he is trying very hard to be understanding of the need for me to be with my son.  The two of them living under the same roof did not work.  My husband’s inability to fathom the ramifications of bi-polar disorder and anxiety disorders created an overwhelming amount of ANXIETY for him, my son and me.

World 3 – Me

And what has happened after a year and a half of growing anxieties and animosities is that, now that I have my own place, I have within that world time to belong to ME without the constancy of being on guard for my husband getting upset with my son for perceived problems. I have time to belong to me when my son is doing his world of part-time work, volunteering and spending time with a very select few safe friends.  I HAVE this down time – quiet time – for the first time in years.  I am finding it easier to cope with my anxieties about my son’s mental health, and my husband’s avoidance of dealing with it at all.  My insomnia has lessened (not gone) – especially when sleeping with my 40-year old teddy bear (don’t judge me!).

I have time to truly belong to me.

The thing that I know I will have to deal with at some point is trying to explain this to hubby.  With everything going on in my life, though I love my husband, and stand by my son, and work full-time, and try to remember not to forget my daughter with her own suitcase of chronic physical and mental health issues – I, FOR ONCE am not forgetting that I need to take care of me.  I need to, first and foremost, belong to me.

Without that, I would be utterly useless to anyone and everyone else.

I am more and more believing that we may be one of those couples whose existence is non-traditional – each with our own separate spaces with our lives intertwined.  This isn’t a situation where I want to be with anyone else, or am looking for anyone else – I am fighting for my emotional survival by taking the alone time to keep centered, and focused, on what I have to do.  I need the alone time. The meditative time.  The sanctuary time.

Is it possible?

Namaste – namaste, my friends – I honor you who know how to belong to yourself.

 

Itty Bitty

 

 

 

Peace - Spirituality and other meanderings

Contentment, Clarity and Peace

I love what one of the earlier teachers of Buddhism said: “Do not believe what others tell you – not even the Buddha. See for yourself what brings contentment, clarity, and peace. That is the path for you to follow.”

 sand

I seem to have lost my way a bit … needing to find my path again.

Therapy starts next Thursday.

Itty Bitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace - Spirituality and other meanderings

Facing Our Fears – “LungLeavin’ Day”

You never know who is reading your blog – or how they get to your blog- stumbling on it – following a blogger who follows you – they see your response to a comment – searching tag words – however they get to you, they do.

A week ago I received a comment (into my spam) from a young man named Cameron Von St. James, asking me to please email him back as he had something to ask me. Not something I would normally do, but as I “Googled” him and found that he was published on HuffPost, I figured it was reasonably safe.

Here is Cameron’s response –

“Hi there!
I really appreciate you getting back to me! I wanted to reach out to you to share something very special to me. I actually found your blog while searching for those who have overcome obstacles in life. I noticed that you acknowledge it and I was wondering if you’d be willing to help me with a cause that means a lot to me.

Eight years ago, my wife Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare cancer that kills most people within 2 years of diagnosis. She had just given birth to our daughter Lily, and was only given 15 months to live. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, LungLeavin’ Day was born. On February 2nd, we celebrated 8 years of Heather being cancer free!

The purpose of LungLeavin’ Day is to encourage others to face their fears! Each year, we’ve gathered around a fire in our backyard with our friends and family, wrote down our biggest fears on a plate and smashed them into the fire. We celebrate for those who are no longer with us, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, we celebrate life.

This year, we weren’t asking for money, or donations of any kind, we were just asking bloggers to participate and spread the word about LungLeavin’ Day. We’ve created an interactive page that tells the full story of our special day here:

(please click on their website and read about “LungLeavin’Day”)
http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/lungleavinday/

Although the day has passed, we hope you will still check it out and share it on your blog. It would really mean so much to Heather and I. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions!

Sincerely, Cameron

What an incredible young couple … survivors in this game called life … and wanting to pay it forward.  How could  I not?  At the moment, I could smash a STACK of dishes to face my fears – and think I will.  But I will also smash one for Heather, Lili and Cameron Von St. James – with the hope that they stay cancer-free and have a long, happy and wonderful life together!

Won’t you smash a few plates?  And please pass on the link to their website and their sweet story – and their effort to encourage all of us to face our fears.

Namaste – I honor you as you face YOUR fears …

Itty Bitty

Peace - Spirituality and other meanderings

Happy Yule! Hope In The Dark For Brighter Days Ahead

The time of the Winter Solstice is the time of the longest nights of the year. Darkness triumphs – and yet, gives way and changes into light. The breath of nature is suspended. I wait while within the earth, in the cold darkness, the sprouts of spring are transforming into the infant regrowth to come.

I envision the coming dawn, when Mother Earth gives birth to the divine Child Sun, who is the promise of the summer. I beckon the Sun from the womb of the night.  Mother Earth turns the wheel once more.

mother

Since Winter Solstice is a solar festival, I celebrate by fire and the use of the Yule log and candles, bringing light into the dark.

It is a time to let go of all fears, all doubts, all outworn ideas, all projects finished – anything in my life that holds me away from the new beginnings that will lead to new growth. It is a time to let go of the past and walk toward the light.

yuelog

On these longest nights, I renew and rebirth my body, mind and spirit self. I plant my seeds of intention for renewed focus, truth, love, friendship, prosperity (in its many forms) and health.  I send positive energy to those I love and for the same that they may find an easier path in the new year.

It has been a challenging 2013 for me, for the loves in my life, and for friends of all sorts – my wish for you and me is that we walk into 2014 with  hearts not so heavy and positive resolutions to the struggles we all face.  And that we find love and light, peace and contentment in the new year.

Namaste – I honor you – and you …. and you … and you!

Itty Bitty

Peace - Spirituality and other meanderings

Finding Love & Trust …..

Five years ago today I met the man who would convince me that it is possible to trust again and to love unconditionally again … thank you, my friend, lover and now (for one year and one month) my husband!
IMG_0613
And though through the first three and a half years we each struggled with our own insecurities and fears, we finally realized that we, could, indeed, surrender and simply love each other and enjoy every day we have with each other.
As I was pondering the implications of that now distant January 23, 2008 evening when we (after meeting on Match.com and spending much of a month “winking” and exchanging bits, then emails, then phone calls) first decided to talk face to face, only one thing now comes to my mind …..  and it is so true:
I Carry Your Heart ……
 
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done …by only me is your doing, my darling)
 i fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
 i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)   – e. e. cummings ~
My wish is that everyone has or finds this love …
Namaste – I honor you … and love …
Itty Bitty
Peace - Spirituality and other meanderings

Easter, Ostara, Passover?

EasterOstaraPassover .. by whatever name, this time of year marks the beginning of spring and the vitality that comes with it. A time of new beginnings, of resurrection, of liberation .. of warmer days and gentle rains … lengthening days and shortening nights. I love it! I personally celebrate a nature-based spiritual path – Ostara – which, for me, means a time of rebirth, of planting, of growing – of enjoying the warmer days and the opportunity to work in the earth.

I love watching the trees explode into umbrellas of green (overnight, it seems, at times), discovering the irises suddenly have tall stalks with their beautiful purple flowers reaching for the sun, and finding that the lilies are unfurling their beautiful white trumpets. And the gingers are peaking out and pushing their new growth stalks out of the still cold ground. Realizing the continuum and never-ending cycle of life is once again perpetuating is a comforting and joyful experience.

Last night hubby and I were resting after a day of him doing paperwork and I doing my beloved “clean up our tiny back yard and make it a livable space again after winter” adventure when we got a call from his daughter’s boyfriend asking about the “plan” for today. We had “planned” on dinner with the family about six – hubby’s son and daughter (and boyfriend) and my daughter and grandsons. “The normal family 8” as we have come to call it since we got married last December.

Boyfriend wondered if we would be interested in Easter picnicking at his parents paint ball facility about an hour out of town instead today – making a day of it – rather than dinner. Absolutely! The teenage grandsons have never been paint balling and have been wanting to go!

So began an unexpected evening packing up disposable tableware, tablecloths, slicing up the ham into a large casserole dish for simplifying heating in the solar oven at his parent’s house (I’ll make the scalloped potatoes this morning) … and deviling eggs:

Deviled Checkies
Deviled Chickies

I saw a picture somewhere this last week of these and had to try them! A REAL pain in the ARSE making them, but how fun! The daughters are bringing salad and dessert.

So off we go in a couple of hours – for a day out in the fresh spring air – for a family day. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Celebrating Mother Earth’s time of vitality growth? Growth in ourselves? We are also celebrating our little “growth” of joining together as a new blended family – something we are finding more joy in that we expected. Hubby is accepting and even enjoying his new “Grandpa Jeff” name, his daughter realized she and her brother are “Auntie Theresa” and “Uncle Jake” – my daughter and son laugh that they have another sister and brother (what does “step” mean, anyway?) and the grand things love that they have so many grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins …

And that paint ball thing? Haha! That should be fun! Last weekend it was roller coasters at Great America – this week shooting people with paint ball guns for the first time (for me) ….. I’m not sure this is what I expected to be doing at 61 … but I can, I am capable, I am doing something new and enjoying my life ….

So my question to you is …. How are you celebrating this season of rebirth, resurrection, liberation?

And, as always, Namaste … I honor you!

Peace - Spirituality and other meanderings

Planting and Tending My Gardens …

PLANTING MY GARDEN … The Vegetable Kind

I’m so excited! Spring Equinox is only 10 days away – Daylight savings has sprung forward, and we are fast approaching that day of equal day and night before racing towards the Summer Solstice. My fingers are itchy to get back in the soil and I would say that Spring has been teasing forever, but I think we just plain skipped Winter this year.   Even as I look out my office window, what is termed by the national weather service a “winter storm warning”  is more an early spring rain in spite of snow in the mountains above 5000 feet.

Being in Brooklyn with my son and daughter in law last summer from mid June into August set aside the notion of summer vegetables but this year, especially with my daughter and grandsons moving 3 doors down, the promise of a fruitful garden has me rarin’ to go!  This week’s rain should soften the composted soil just enough to facilitate planting preparation.  What shall we plant?

Tomatoes of course – Sacramento veggie gardens are not complete without tomatoes!  Cherry or grape along with more substantial, bigger ones.  The boys love popping those little ones for snacks. And a zucchini plant .. maybe two … and a pumpkin for fall.

And we have to plant lemon cucumbers, bell peppers, string beans and eggplant!

We have a small raised bed planting box, and some really neat deep pots.  I think the grandsons and I will have fun tending the veggies and sharing them this year.  Our harvest may not look like these lovelies … but that’s ok – we’ll do the best we can!

We also want to plant a dwarf Meyer lemon tree.  YUM!  And since the fabric of our gazebo’s cover gave up at the end of last fall, we have decided to trellis the frame and grow star jasmine and passion vines for a year-round green canopy for shade and summer fragrance, and for enticing the bees and humming birds.

PLANTING A GARDEN … Nurturing Our Mind and Soul  

I am in an emotional space where I know there is much I should be doing – and can’t seem to get it done.  And it occurs to me that I am not tending to my own needs as well as I should be.  The seedlings are there and planted, but the nurturing is not.

For instance – I have gained 30 pounds over the last four and a half years – and like weeds in my other garden, the only way I am going to successfully achieve my harvest is to eradicate the weeds – one at a time.  It takes effort and focus.

For instance – the success of my business depends on my actively soliciting new accounts.  This is not a new skill for me and I know that my garden will not be fruitful unless I plant those new seeds and tend to them!  It takes effort and focus.

I know my issue is motivation … but I seem to have misplaced my mojo somewhere – have you seen it? It is, after all, having the right tools to cultivate our gardens, isn’t it?

I have this amazing and wonderful opportunity to reinvent myself – to not have to worry about returning to the corporate world (though who will hire a 60+ year old who has not worked in a year and a half?  Not equitable but real.)  And yet I cannot quite put my finger on what it is that has me stuck … that keeps me from attaining that little bit of success that I so want.  I’m not talkin’ huge, I’m just talkin’ comfortable to supplement social security that is rapidly becoming closer as the year goes on. To carry my weight and not depend on someone else (even if it is hubby) to support me.   What is it that I need to get planted in my garden to nurture in order to harvest the results I want?

What are you planting this year in your gardens this spring?  The one in the ground or the one in your soul .. or both?

Namaste … I honor you!